MIOSHA Launches Initiative to Prevent Workplace Electrocutions

The MIOSH Act requires employers to provide "a workplace free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to the employees."

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is launching a Preventing Electrocutions Initiative to eliminate fatalities caused by electrical hazards. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).

"One worker death is too many. Every worker in Michigan has the right to go home healthy and whole, every day," said MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski. "Electrocutions can be greatly reduced when employers follow MIOSHA rules and apply effective worker safeguards in every worksite where electrical hazards are present."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of electrocutions nationally during 2008-2009 was 360. The leading occupations experiencing electrocutions were: Construction and Extraction Occupations (170); Installation, Maintenance and Repair Occupations (74); Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations (32); and Production Occupations (27).

The MIOSH Act requires employers to provide "a workplace free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to the employees." The purpose of MIOSHA safety and health rules is to set minimum requirements and provide guidelines for identifying and correcting the hazards contributing to injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

As part of the initiative, MIOSHA developed three fact sheets to highlight the information and resources available to help employers protect their workers from electrical hazards:

  • Preventing Electrocutions Fact Sheet - provides details on recent electrocutions in Michigan and the most prevalent electrocution violations.
  • Electrical Incidents: Contact with Power Lines - Construction Fact Sheet - details the equipment most likely to contact power lines and how to avoid the hazards.
  • Electrical Shock Hazards - General Industry Fact Sheet - covers the common causes of electrical shocks and how to prevent them.

For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/mioshastandards.

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